I just heard from reader DC who added his perspective on homeowners associations. The conversation started after this story ran yesterday and I shared a couple of readers’ horror stories about special assessments.
DC said his situation is not a horror story, though he acknowledged those are more fun to read about. “But not all HOAs suffer strife or financial difficulty,” he wrote. “And that is part of the story, too.”
Here’s DC‘s take:
My wife and I own a unit in an early-1970s condo tower whose common areas have been showing their age after previous renovations. After a year-long process led by an owners’ committee with public hearings and alternative improvement packages to choose from, members of the HOA voted a few months ago to approve a special assessment of $15,000 per unit for improvements and renovation of the lobby, third-floor amenities (guest suites, gym, party room and kitchen, etc) and all hallways. Payment is $3000 up front, $750 monthly for a year (starting this month), and then $250 monthly for the next year. Although there were several dissenting votes, the process was open and amicable.
BTW, our building has had no foreclosures, no NODs that I am aware of, no failures to pay HOA assessments (regular or special), and no units currently for sale. We have, I am told, 4-5 units leased (one year minimum) out of 66 units.